Today, most crimes have a digital component. This includes crimes that occur on the internet, crimes where technology is used to facilitate the commission of an unlawful act, and crimes where data, technology, or networks are used for malicious or illegitimate purposes.
Common cybercrimes include:
- Business email compromises
- Unauthorized data exfiltration
- Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks
- Malware threats and attacks such as ransomware
- Unauthorized system or network intrusions
- Cyber stalking and bullying
- Child predation
States and territories have laws that allow prosecutors to bring a variety of charges against those who commit cybercrimes like those listed above. The National Conference of State Legislatures provides a current list of state computer crime statutes.
Depending on the extent of their criminal jurisdiction, a state attorney general may serve as the lead prosecutor or assist other agencies, such as local prosecutors’ offices, in investigating a cybercrime. They may also work with federal partners such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice.
Examples of Attorney General Cybercrime Divisions and Activities
- California’s Department of Justice’s eCrime Unit is tasked with investigating and prosecuting large scale identity theft and technology crimes with actual losses in excess of $50,000.
- Massachusetts Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Division investigates and prosecutes complex criminal cases involving digital evidence and consults on criminal matters involving technology.
- Mississippi Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Division was established in 2000 to investigate the sexual exploitation of children online and to provide assistance to Mississippi’s law enforcement agencies on criminal use of technology. Since that time, the Division has expanded its role to also address major fraud, data theft, and cyber security. ‘
- The Texas Attorney General conducts criminal investigations and apprehensions on a range cases involving cybercrimes.
- Department of Justice
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- United States Secret Service
- The National White Collar Crime center (NW3C) is a nonprofit, membership-affiliated organization comprised of state, local, federal, and tribal law enforcement and prosecutorial and regulatory agencies, which provides a nationwide support system for law enforcement and regulatory agencies involved in the prevention, investigation and prosecution of economic and high-tech crime.
- Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program is a national network of 61 coordinated task forces representing over 4,500 federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies.